Mel Watkin
Mighty Chrysanthemum Bouquet––SKETCH
2017
Pencil, colored pencil & acrylic on sheets of paper painted to look like graph paper.
26 feet x 38 inches
GIVING FLOWERS POWER. My recent drawings are based on the wide variety of trees and flowers surrounding my old farmhouse in rural Southern Illinois. The drawings are meant to be alluring, but also a bit menacing because, as recent events show, nature is beautiful, but it can also be deadly. "Mighty Chrysanthemum Bouquet" imagines a tree-sized handful of Chrysanthemums. I like to think that, in a bad windstorm, these 25 feet tall flowers might become frightening and dangerous––i.e. nature speaking truth to power. (I started making large-scale tree drawings after a tree crushed my car during a major windstorm. A real wake up call!) Also, historically, flowers played an important role in my small rural town of Cobden. It was once a flower-growing center and farmers sent fresh cut flowers up to Chicago by train daily. With overnight global commerce, flowers are no longer a viable crop for Cobden, but they still come up "volunteer" by the 100s in abandoned fields throughout my area.
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